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Comment Re:Useful for desalination plants? (Score 4, Insightful) 63

I should think not -- at least not in the way you're probably thinking.

The device consists of a wicking layer topped by a light-absorbing layer. This boils water, which produces more or less pure steam. It also leaves the minerals from the water in the wicking layer. If you take distilled water directly away from the device and replace it with fresh seawater, those minerals will build up until the layer is no longer absorbent. On the other hand if all you want is the heat, you run the steam-distilled water through a heat exchanger and return it to the wicking layer, reconstituting the original water.

So it'd probably wouldn't work to use this directly as a steam distiller. However you could use the heat you collect to run a separate steam distiller. That would be very inefficient, but the thing about "renewables" is that conversion efficiency is less important than low installation and operation cost, because you're not paying for your feedstock of energy; any sunshine you don't use would have been wasted anyway. So while it seems physically possible to use this device to power a desalinization plant, whether it makes economic sense depends on whether this is actually the cheapest way to run a plant.

Comment Re:I'm getting old. (Score 1) 135

Sure, SATA is getting old quickly and starts to become the bottleneck,

No, SATA IS the bottleneck.

If you read specs and they all say 540MB/sec, that's the SATA3 limit. And benchmarks of practically every SATA SSD has it pegged at 540MB/sec.

Its why Apple pioneered PCIe for storage, and brought everyone a 1GB/sec SSD read and 750MB/sec write at the beginning. Nowadays a NVMe PCIe SSD can easily do 1.5GB/sec reads and 1GB/sec writes, while the top end can do 2.5GB/sec reads and 1.5GB/sec writes.

The other reason is SATA isn't really adept at SSDs - we emulate it well, but SATA was never designed for that kind of drive. And of course, the latest NVMe SSDs are bootable (NVMe is actually the interface type - while the physical layer is PCIe, NVMe is the controller interface hanging off the PCIe bus).

SATA will still be around - bulk storage is still cheaper with spinning rust.

Comment Re:Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 34

The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

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